When Buying Organic Is Too Expensive

“You Paid $21 for Only Three Pieces of Produce?!”

I normally do the grocery shopping when it comes to produce. But the other day, my other half did the honors. And I was very thankful that he did. He brought home some really nice fruit and vegetables. However, some of his choices caught my eye, as they seemed out-of-season. So I browsed the sales receipt. And low and behold, there were a few high numbers that jumped out at me.

Grapes, cauliflower and pineapple were the culprits. The grapes were $7, the cauliflower was $6, and the pineapple was $8. How crazy is that? I broke out an earlier receipt to make sure that wasn’t “the norm.” And sure enough, it wasn’t. On the previous receipt, I paid $1.96 for grapes, $1.50 for cauliflower, and $2.99 for the pineapple. I paid, roughly six dollars for the same items that he paid twenty-one dollars. Wow! What a difference!

Tips for Buying Organic Produce

Buying organic food can be more expensive than commercially grown food, but it doesn’t have to be outrageous. The key is to be vigilant and look at the prices CAREFULLY, especially if sold by the pound. It’s all about supply and demand. And since there is less organic than commercially grown produce, and the demand keeps going up, the prices are more volatile and can change dramatically, as demonstrated in my story. Also, it’s usually better to buy what is in season and, if possible, grown locally. Finally, keep a look out for sales and take advantage of them. It’s always better to have more than one source for your organic produce as well (such as CSA’s, farmer’s markets, local markets, specialty or health food stores, wholesale clubs).

Is It Worth Paying More for Organic Food?

To an extent, yes. The main reason I buy organic produce is to avoid poisons such as pesticides and herbicides. And now that I have a child, I try to only feed her organic food. Who knows what those GMO’s and pesticides do to a developing baby? What really scares me are the genetically modified foods (GM or GMO), even though those are not usually found in fresh produce (except Hawiian Papaya and Sweet Corn). If you care about your health, you should care what you are eating. But I don’t think one should have to give up cable TV in order to eat organic. It just takes more time and effort to make it affordable. Which means have several sources; look at prices carefully; buy what’s in season and buy wisely.

Become Aware: Try this Experiment

Choose an organic fruit or vegetable and “follow” it’s price throughout the year. Notice how much it fluctuates. See where it hits its peak and when it is at its cheapest and compare the price at different stores or sources. It will open your eyes to how much the price can fluctuate so you won’t pay $7 for a vegetable that you paid a $1.50 at an earlier time.


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